The wedding industry made up of everything from small businesses to large corporations, and with so many options to choose from, it may feel like supporting the smaller companies, especially in their first few years in business, is a risky move. The truth is, it's not—especially if you feel a connection with the professional in question. The simple fact is that some vendors may already have years of experience working under other business owners. Still, others may be starting out from scratch, which means you'll need to treat this working relationship with care. To ensure it's a great experience for everyone involved, here's what you need to know about working with brand-new vendors and venues.
Do Your Homework
The more information you know from the start, the more likely you are to have a good relationship with your vendor. This is especially true when working with pros who are new to weddings. Sunna Yassin, wedding planner and co-owner of Bash Please, says, "Don't be afraid to ask for more within the vendor's portfolio. Even if a vendor is new to the field, they should be able to provide more than what's presented on social media or their website." She also recommends couples get referrals and check references when working with someone who's just starting out.
Don't Load Up on Newbies
Building a solid, trustworthy team is the key to both planning a wedding that's beautiful and seamless and maintaining your cool. Yassin suggests keeping the number of brand-new vendors you work with to just one or two. She says, "It's crucial to the harmony of the event that some vendors have worked together in the past, and that your event isn't a crew of all new vendors working together."
Do Ask Questions
There are so many nuances to wedding planning, and each event truly is unique to the couple. So, it's entirely possible that there are going to be circumstances your new vendor or venue hasn't dealt with previously. As long as you're able to ask questions and communicate fluidly with one another, you should be able to tackle any of these issues before they become a problem.
Don't Make Assumptions
It's often better to over-clarify than to make assumptions, especially when working with someone who's new to the industry. Let's say, for example, you're working with a recently-opened venue and they've advertised their space filled with beautiful wood tables and bistro chairs. You might assume that those come with the space and not realize until too late in the game that you'll have to rent the furniture from a third-party company, adding a hefty sum to your budget. By asking what's included in the rental of the new space from the very beginning, you should be able to easily find out what you'll need to bring in and which products or services come with the venue.
Do Know Your Options
Working with a new vendor or venue can occasionally lead to irreparable hiccups. Because the wedding industry is service-based, the vast majority of vendors will work hard to fix an error and regain your trust. However, there are occasions where it's easier to walk away. In this case, it's important for you know what your options are. Each contract has its own set of cancellation terms and a strategy that works best for you, so just be sure you're familiar with the contract ins and outs before signing on.
Do Insist on a Contract
If a vendor or venue is starting a new business, or happens to be a friend or acquaintance, it's entirely possible that they won't have a contract for you to sign. For the sake of protecting their business and your wedding's success, insist on a contract as best you can. Contracts not only help to define legal responsibilities, but can also be a great tool for referencing dates, times, locations, pricing structures, and any further details you've agreed upon.